Careers at CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint Energy’s mission is to lead the nation in delivering energy, service, and value.
CenterPoint Energy is an electric and natural gas utility company. The firm operates five reportable business segments:
- Electric Transmission and Distribution – Provides electric transmission and distribution services to retail electric providers (REPs) serving metered customers in a 5,000-square-mile area of the Texas Gulf Coast.
- Natural Gas Distribution – Engages in intrastate natural gas sales to and natural gas transportation and storage for residential, commercial, and industrial customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas.
- Energy Services – Engages in non-rate regulated natural gas sales to and transportation and storage services for commercial and industrial customers in 23 states in the central United States.
- Midstream Investments – Consists of an equity investment in Enable, an unconsolidated subsidiary that owns, operates, and develops natural gas and crude oil assets.
- Other Operations – Consists of office buildings and other real estate used in its business operations and other corporate operations which support all of its business operations.
In 1866 Houston Industries established Houston Gas Light Company (HL), a subsidiary designed to provide gas made from coal and oyster shells for street lights in a southeastern Texas village. 1870 saw the formation of Minneapolis Gas Light Company. In 1905, the first natural gas franchise was formed in Shreveport, Louisiana. Later, HL was renamed Houston Lighting & Power, or HL&P.
In 1990 the three above-mentioned companies combined to form NorAm Energy Corporation. It marketed wholesale electric power across the U.S., providing electricity generated from natural gas, steam, lignite, coal, and nuclear fission. In 1997 NorAm merged with HL&P’s parent firm, Houston Industries, and was renamed Reliant Energy. The HL&P division was then renamed Reliant HL&P.
In the early 2000s Texas deregulated its electricity sector. In 2003 HL&P was split into three separate companies: Texas Genco, Reliant Energy, and CenterPoint Energy. Texas Genco took control of the Greater Houston neighborhood’s power plants, Reliant Energy oversaw sales of electricity to individuals and businesses, and CenterPoint Energy took control of poles and power lines.
Business model of CenterPoint Energy
CenterPoint has a segmented market business model, with customers that have slightly different needs. The company targets its offerings at both consumers and businesses.
CenterPoint’s offers two primary value propositions: accessibility and brand/status.
The company offers accessibility by providing a broad range of options and being widely available. Its services can be broken down as follows:
- Natural Gas Distribution – The company delivers natural gas to 3.2 million residential homes and businesses in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas, including the high-growth areas of Houston and Minneapolis.
- Electric Transmission & Distribution – The company maintains the wires, poles, and electric infrastructure for its 5,000-square-mile electric service territory in the Houston metropolitan area.
- Competitive Natural Gas Sales and Services – The company’s CenterPoint Energy Services (CES) division sells non rate-regulated natural gas and related services to 100,000 commercial, industrial, and wholesale customers in 26 states.
- Home Service Plus – The company’s Home Service Plus (HSP) division provides heating and cooling solutions for Minnesota homeowners. These are supplemented with expert repair, service and maintenance plans, and professional sales for gas and electric equipment.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It serves over five million metered customers total and operates over 48,230 miles of power distribution lines, 8,000 miles of interstate gas pipeline, and 3,800 miles of gas gathering pipeline. It has over 7,800 employees and owns a 55.4% limited partner interest in Enable Midstream Partners, a public master limited partnership it jointly controls with OGE Energy. Its prominent subscribers include retail electric providers such as Ambit Energy, Bounce Energy, Champion Energy, Cirro Energy, Direct Energy, Dynowatt, First Texas Energy Corporation, Gexa Energy, Kona Energy, Mxenergy, NRG Energy, Stream Energy, and Texas Power. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the following:
- EPRI Power Delivery and Utilization Technology Transfer Award (2016)
- AESP Energy Awards, Pricing & Demand Response Category (2016)
- POWERGRID International – Project of the Year Award for grid optimization (2016)
- SEE Industry Excellence Award, Cable Life Extension Program (2016)
CenterPoint’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website and social media pages.
CenterPoint’s customer relationship is primarily of a automated nature. Customers utilize its services while having limited interaction with employees. That said, there is a personal assistance component in the form of phone and e-mail support.
CenterPoint’s business model entails generating electricity and natural gas and delivering the products to its customers.
CenterPoint’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with the equipment and materials it needs to manage its operations.
CenterPoint’s main resources are its physical resources, which include its power plants and its natural gas plant facilities. It also relies heavily on its human resources, who include the full-time employees and contractors that generate its resources and provide services.
CenterPoint has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is operation and maintenance, a fixed cost. Other major drivers are in the areas of cost of services and administration.
CenterPoint has one revenue stream: revenues it generates from fees paid by customers for the transmission of electricity and the delivery of natural gas.
info: Scott Prochazka earned a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas. He previously held several leadership roles at CenterPoint, including Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President of Gas Operations, and President of the electric utility.
info: William D. Rogers earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Economics at the U.S. Military Academy and a Master‘s degree in Accounting and Finance at Duke University. He previously served as VP and Treasurer at American Water Works Company.
info: Sue Ortenstone earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He previously served as Chief Administrative Officer at Copano Energy and El Paso Corporation.
info: Dana O’Brien earned a Bachelor’s degree at Trinity University and a JD at the University of Texas. She previously served as Chief Legal Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at CEVA Logistics and as General Counsel for Quanta Services.
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